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CARB-X backs Centauri to advance a new platform that combines antibiotic power with the ability to boost the immune system to fight infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria

CARB-X backs Centauri to advance a new platform that combines antibiotic power with the ability to boost the immune system to fight infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria

Centauri’s novel one-two approach kills bacteria and redirects the immune system to selectively kill superbugs

(BOSTON, MA) – CARB-X is awarding Centauri Therapeutics of Sandwich, UK, up to $1.4 million in non-dilutive funding to develop a novel dual-acting immunotherapy to treat serious infections caused by Gram-negative pathogens, including drug-resistant strains of Enterobacteriaceae, P. aeruginosa, and A.baumannii.

“Centauri’s project is an exciting new approach to treating drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, and adds rich diversity to CARB-X’s early development portfolio of antibiotics, vaccines, rapid diagnostics and other life-saving products,” said Erin Duffy, Chief of Research and Development of CARB-X, which is based at Boston University School of Law in Boston USA.  “Projects in the Powered by CARB-X portfolio are in the early stages of development, but if successful, each offers tremendous hope and progress in the global fight against drug resistance. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funded by a global partnership.

Mike Westby PhD, CEO of Centauri, said,“To receive funding and support from CARB-X is a fantastic endorsement and validation of the work we are doing to advance our lead MDR Gram-negative bacteria program, ABX01. ABX01 is highly differentiated from other products targeting this area and this funding will help to accelerate its progression in an area of significant and growing unmet need. We are pleased to be collaborating with CARB-X, a global leader in the development of antibacterial products and innovation, and excited by the prospects of what can be achieved together.”

The award will help Centauri continue the development of ABX01. The novel immunotherapy is in the lead optimization phase of development and is designed to re-direct naturally-occurring effector antibodies in the body to target and kill harmful Gram-negative bacteria. Novel features of ABX01 include broad spectrum efficacy against Gram-negative bacterial infections; direct and immune-mediated mechanism of bacterial killing; and an ability to harness and re-direct naturally occurring effector antibodies.

CARB-X’s expanding portfolio

CARB-X currently funds 34 innovative antibacterial projects. Since its launch, CARB-X has funded 53 projects in seven countries, and has announced awards exceeding $176.1 million, plus additional funding if project milestones are met. These funds are in addition to investments made by the companies themselves.

CARB-X funding for the Centauri project is possible thanks to the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, the US Department of Health and Human Services Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

New antibiotics, rapid diagnostics, vaccines and other products are needed urgently to treat bacteria that are increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. In the United States, an estimated 35,000 people die each year from drug-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections, and in Europe, the number of deaths each year is estimated at 33,000.

Partnership to drive antibacterial innovation globally

The CARB-X global partnership is investing up to $500 million in antibacterial R&D between 2016-2021.The goal is to support projects through the early phases of development through Phase 1, so that they will attract additional private or public support for further clinical development and approval for use in patients. The scope of CARB-X funding is restricted to projects that target drug-resistant bacteria highlighted on the CDC’s 2013 Antibiotic Resistant Threats list, or the Priority Bacterial Pathogens list published by the WHO in 2017– with a priority on those pathogens deemed Serious or Urgent on the CDC list or Critical or High on the WHO list.

This research is supported by the Cooperative Agreement Number IDSEP160030 from ASPR/BARDA and by award from Wellcome Trust and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Wellcome Trust, or other CARB-X funders.

Media Contacts:

CARB-X:
Jennifer Robinson
carbxpr@bu.edu
M: +1.514.914.8974

Centauri:
Mike Westby
+44 (0) 1304 728610
info@centauritherapeutics.com

About CARB-X
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) is a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating early development antibacterial R&D to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X is led by Boston University and funding is provided by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the US Department of Health and Human Services , the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in the UK working to improve health globally, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and with in-kind support from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). A non-profit partnership, CARB-X is investing up to $500 million from 2016-2021 to support innovative antibiotics and other therapeutics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics that address drug-resistant bacteria. CARB-X supports the world’s largest and most innovative pipeline of preclinical products against drug-resistant infections. CARB-X is headquartered at Boston University School of Law. carb-x.org/.  Follow us on Twitter @CARB_X.

About Centauri
Centauri Therapeutics is an immunotherapy company focused on infectious diseases.  Centauri’s proprietary Alphamer™ platform is protected by a portfolio of patents and enables the discovery and development of multiple candidate molecules.  All projects harness a powerful and clinically validated immune mechanism which redirects naturally existing antibodies to treat life-threatening diseases.

About BARDA and NIAID
The US Department of Health and Human Services works to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans, providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. Within HHS, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. BARDA provides a comprehensive, integrated, portfolio approach to the advanced research and development, innovation, acquisition, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures – vaccines, drugs, therapeutics, diagnostic tools, and non-pharmaceutical products for public health emergency threats. These threats include chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents, pandemic influenza, and emerging infectious diseases. NIH is the primary US federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. NIAID conducts and supports research — at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide — to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses.

About Wellcome Trust
Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We’re a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate. The Wellcome Trust is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 210183. Its sole trustee is The Wellcome Trust Limited, a company registered in England and Wales, no. 2711000 (whose registered office is at 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK)

About the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF)
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is the UK Government department which is responsible for helping people to live more independent, healthier lives for longer.

The partnership with CARB-X is part of DHSC’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund (GAMRIF). GAMRIF was established to provide seed funding for innovative research and development, specifically in neglected and underinvested areas, in the field of AMR.  GAMRIF is a £50m UK Aid investment, which means all projects funded must support research primarily and directly for the benefit of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Fund takes a ‘One Health’ approach, seeking to invest in potential solutions to reduce the threat of AMR in humans, animals, fish and the environment. The Fund seeks to leverage additional global funding through interaction with international government bodies, public-private partnerships, product development partnerships, global funding mechanisms and global fora.

About Boston University 
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 33,000 students, it is the fourth-largest independent university in the United States. BU consists of 17 schools and colleges, along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes integral to the University’s research and teaching mission. In 2012, BU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), a consortium of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. For further information, please contact Jeremy Thompson at jeremy22@bu.eduwww.bu.edu.